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May US port volumes surge despite supply chain challenges

May US port volumes surge despite supply chain challenges
US ports saw a 3% increase in import cargo volumes despite high shipping rates, unresolved port labour negotiations and Red Sea disruptions.

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US ports are experiencing the strongest surge in volume in two years, with a 7.5% year-over-year growth in May, handling 2.08m Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs). This is the highest volume since August 2022. The National Retail Federation (NRF) vice president for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold reassured consumers that retailers would be well-stocked for the upcoming back-to-school and holiday seasons, despite ongoing supply chain challenges. However, Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates, warned of increasing risks to global trade growth, citing factors such as higher shipping costs and consumer prices. The first half of 2024 is expected to total 12.04m TEUs, a 14.4% increase from the same period last year. The report projects continued growth in the coming months, with June expected to see a 14.5% year-over-year increase in TEUs.